WSFA/NBC - Losing weight is a popular New Year's resolution. For some people, diet pills are a way to help things along, but the method comes with some warnings you should watch out for.
Dr. Zeenat Safdar says she typically sees patients long after other doctors have ruled out heart problems, asthma, and COPD. Safdar is the director of the pulmonary hypertension center at Houston Methodist and says mostly women are at risk for this illness.
"Pulmonary hypertension is a fatal disease and we see that in the hospital, we see that in the clinic, patients who come to us already have advanced pulmonary hypertension by the time they've been referred to us," Safdar said. "they've been to three or four physicians already, they've had multiple hospitalizations, so it's a bad disease,"
It's a disease that can be caused by other diseases or sometimes drug abuse, and diet pills. The problem is, people who take fat burners don't always disclose such pills to their doctor.
After all, the bad stuff like fenfen went away years ago, right? Wrong!
"So there are herbal fenfen available, coming out of different other countries, other than u.s., that make it to U.S. markets and you can get it from a vitamin store or herbal market or some other over the counter medicines that have the same ingredient," Safdar said.
Or ingredients that work the same way inside your lungs.
"The end result is that the vessels in the lungs become narrow and constricted so that produces a hindrance to the flow of the blood 617 so that when the blood cannot be oxygenated, cannot freely flow through the lungs, it can't make it to the rest of the body so you don't get enough oxygenated blood in the brain, in the heart, in the liver, anywhere else so that the patients need extra oxygen," Safdar said.
It does take many years to feel symptoms of pulmonary hypertension. So, if you feel short of breath and have a history of diet pills or drugs, it's important to tell your doctor.